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What’s The Most Interesting Name For A Animal Baby You’ve Heard?
Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 by eNature
Common Loon with chicks
Common Loon with chicks
© Pete Markham
Hickory Horned Devil in final molt
Hickory Horned Devil in final molt

It’s spring and the time for baby animals to start arriving in all types of habitats.

While we all know about colts, calves and eaglets—even experienced naturalists sometimes can’t remember the names for certain species. The various and oftentimes bizarre names used to describe animal offspring are often stumpers to even the best Trivial Pursuit player.

For example, a baby toad is called, appropriately enough, a toadlet. On the other hand, a one-year-old male turkey is called a jake.

Similarly, baby mice are known as pinkies, while the babies (caterpillars) of Giant Swallowtail butterflies and Regal Moths are known as Orange Dogs and Hickory Horned Devils, respectively.

As for the ghastly named Hag Moth, it fares no better in the larval stage, when it’s called a Monkey Slug. Young elephant seals, meanwhile, are known as weaners, young cod as sprat, and young mackerel as blinkers.

And while there are lots of calves, pups, and kits, only the louse gives birth to baby nits.

Got a favorite?  Share it in the comment section below!



Oh, “sprats” live in literature. In Browning’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” the infesting rats were alleged to have “split open the kegs of salted sprats.”

Posted by Doris Thurber on 4/15

... and, oh yes, let’s not forget about the “nitpickers.”

Posted by Doris Thurber on 4/15

A baby jellyfish is called a planula, polyp, or ephyra.

Posted by Wayne on 4/15

Newly hatched turkeys are called “polts.”

Posted by Tim Green on 4/15

I always liked the names for baby bony fishes: fry, and then when they get a bit bigger, fingerlings.

Posted by Mark Caponigro on 4/15

Horseshoe crab larvae are called “trilobite larvae” which links them to their ancestry and the fossil record.

Posted by Tim Green on 4/15

I have always wondered who gets to choose the official name and why they are able to do so?

Posted by Shannon Carranza on 4/15

Let’s not forget hobs and jills:  male and female ferrets.

Posted by Joanne on 4/15

Set a sprat to catch a mackerel- is a long time English saying

Posted by Annie on 4/15

as the old poem in grade school
cats have kittens
and bats have bittens

Posted by david s on 4/15

Nits are eggs, not offspring. They become nymphs.

Posted by Vivian Johnson on 4/15

a Litter of Pugs is called a “grumble”...and if you have ever been around Pugs, you know why !

Posted by Mary S on 4/15

Newly hatched birds are also called “pinkies” before they show feathers and are called “fledglings”.  The generic term for a very young bird is “nestling.”

Posted by Catherine DeMauro on 4/16

A litter of kittens is a kindle

Posted by Sue on 4/17

Please don’t post advertisements here. This is supposed to be a discussion of animal baby names. Thank you.

Posted by Wayne on 4/17

Baby tropical freshwater fish are called “fry”.

Posted by p rogers on 4/18
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